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The history of gaming consoles on football jerseys

Between unforgettable jerseys and historical consoles, here are the most important partnerships between teams and video game companies

The history of gaming consoles on football jerseys Between unforgettable jerseys and historical consoles, here are the most important partnerships between teams and video game companies

It is now a year and a half that the world has entered the Next-Gen video game. Sony with PlayStation 5 and Microsoft with Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have entered the console market with products designed to make the gaming experience of the lucky owners of one of these new platforms more and more real. This is because, mainly due to the well-known issue related to the scarcity of raw materials and rare earths, these consoles are virtually unobtainable and when retailers manage to get their hands on them, they place them on the market at prices much higher than the list price. 

Video games and soccer have always had a close link between them with various titles, FIFA and PES on all, which keep company to fans from time immemorial. And the same companies that produce these platforms over the years have established important partnerships with soccer clubs and not only. Just think that PlayStation has been a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League for over 20 years, an agreement signed in 1997 and currently extended until 2024. But Sony's console is in good company, as Xbox, Nintendo, Commodore and many others have also appeared on soccer teams' shirts.

Batistuta's Fiorentina and Maradona's Sevilla, when Nintendo sponsored legends

One of the most iconic uniforms linked to a console is certainly that of Fiorentina in 1997, which had on its chest the sponsor Nintendo, the company that in those years was dominating the video game market. A shirt remained in the collective memory because it was worn by one of the purple legends, Gabriel Omar Batistuta, who with that FILA kit exulted several times with his historic machine gun. 

A few years earlier, in the 1992-93 season, the Japanese company used the uniforms of Sevilla to promote their console of the time: the Super Nintendo. A pride for the company since the name of their platform was on display on the jersey of one of the strongest players of all time, Diego Armando Maradona, then a member of the Spaniard team.


Commodore, from Bayern Munich to Chelsea and PSG

The first video game company to sponsor a soccer team was Commodore, with the U.S. company that appeared on the shirts of Bayern Munich from 1984 to 1988. A choice, that of the Bavarians, which aimed primarily to restore the coffers of the club that poured in very poor conditions and therefore needed an important partnership. 

The U.S. company also produced the Amiga console, which appeared as a sponsor on the uniforms of Chelsea from 1990 to 1994. Those jerseys of the Blues, made by Umbro, are still remembered by London fans as among the most beautiful ever worn by their team. Of a different opinion, however, Paris Saint-Germain supporters, who between '92 and '94 dressed the kits designed by Nike, both with Commodore and Amiga sponsors, which many Parisians would like to forget. So many colors, as well as so many brands present on the jerseys for some of the Swoosh's worst works. 

Sega and the ill-fated Dreamcast 

At the end of the 90s, SEGA launched Dreamcast on the market; a console that was supposed to revolutionize the world of video games. The platform was not as successful as hoped, despite a massive sponsorship campaign that brought the logo on the shirts of Arsenal from 1999 to 2002. It was the era of the legendary Gunners led by Arsene Wenger and that could boast in the pink people like Henry, Pires, Vieira and Bergkamp

Dreamcast also arrived in Italy on Sampdoria shirts in the '99-'00 season, which in those years played in the Serie B championship. In the same year of the blucerchiati, the SEGA console was also a sponsor of Deportivo La Coruna in Spain on a uniform made by adidas and worn by a historic striker of the time: the Dutch Roy Makaay

PlayStation and the link with Auxerre 

Sony, which has long dominated the video game market, arrived on the soccer field in 1999 when it entered into a long partnership with Auxerre. The link with the French club lasted until 2005 and brought on the shirts of the transalpine team first the PlayStation, then the PlayStation 2, which will become the best-selling console of the Japanese company with over 150 million pieces. In the 2005-2006 season, moreover, on the jerseys made by Uhlsport was also added the PSP brand, the first portable play. 

Xbox and the Seattle Sounders

In the early 2000s, Microsoft launched its first console on the market, the Xbox, which immediately became as a sponsor on the jerseys of the Seattle Sounders. The club was the local team of the city where Bill Gates' company resides, and the entrepreneur himself owned shares in the soccer club. So the choice of sponsor was as successful as it was immediate. On the green and blue uniforms of the Sounders have followed all versions of the console: from the first Xbox, the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One.